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Make £5 Grow young entrepreneurs generate over a quarter of a million pounds for UK good causes


  • Make £5 Grow has reached over 95,000 children nationwide so far
  • School children given unique opportunity to get involved in enterprise education programme
  • Children have taken over markets, cathedrals and festivals to grow their investment

Children from primary schools across the UK have made over £250,000 in profit by developing financial, business and creativity skills as part of Virgin Money’s enterprise programme - Make £5 Grow. All profits are kept by the school, either investing back into the children, school equipment or donating to a local good cause.

The programme offers schools a loan of £5 per child, support from Virgin Money and a suite of curriculum-based classroom tools. Teams are encouraged to use the money to set up mini-businesses selling products or services. Through this the children learn all about the world of work, what it takes to be successful and they also gain important financial awareness. The schools are allowed to keep any profit made after repaying the loan.

Since its launch in 2011, the Make £5 Grow programme has gone from strength to strength, with more than 95,000 young people taking part.

Children have created a range of business ideas; from baking their own sweet treats, hand crafting environmentally friendly shopping bags to planting seeds in time for Mother’s Day, creating beautiful flower bouquets and literally making their £5 grow. Schools have sold the products in their local markets, bringing new footfall to the markets, selling at iconic sites such as Chester Cathedral and Alnwick Gardens. Participating schools have also created market-stall events on school grounds. One school decided to put on a show, sold tickets to friends and family, sold refreshment during the interval, recorded the performance and sold the DVD afterwards.

Carly Nichol, teacher at Richard Coates Primary School in Newcastle upon Tyne said: “The confidence pupils have shown during the whole scheme is amazing! The ideas they generate and the way they work in teams really develops their social interaction skills. They are genuinely excited and care about the whole experience.

“All of the online resources link well to the PSHE topics we need to cover in school. The plans are easy to follow and help to develop the pupils’ understanding of the skills required to become a successful entrepreneur.”

Sarah North, teacher at Sir Alexander Fleming Primary School in Shropshire said: “It has been a highly valuable programme to run. Having disengaged children change through the experience of running their own business enterprise, taking on responsibilities and respecting members of the group has been invaluable for all involved.”

Leanne Watson, Community Projects Manager at Virgin Money added: “Since Make £5 Grow was launched in 2011 it has gone from strength to strength. The feedback we have received from schools, children and parents has been phenomenal. We hope that even more schools will look to take part in this innovative and engaging programme which allows children to be creative, learn about business whilst retaining an element of fun.”

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About Virgin Money

  • Virgin Money offers savings, mortgages, credit cards, current accounts, currency services, pensions, investments and protection products to customers across the UK.
  • Virgin Money's business ambition is to make "everyone better off" - this philosophy underpins our approach to business by offering good value to customers, treating employees well, making a positive contribution to society and delivering a profit to shareholders.
  • More than 14,500 charities have registered with Virgin Money Giving and, by the end June 2018, over £660 million had been donated to charities through the service since its launch in 2009, resulting in an estimated £20.6 million more donated to charities because of its not-for-profit model.
  • Virgin Money is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CYBG Group.